Teacher Education for Multilingual / Multicultural Settings

The European Network on Teacher Education (in addition ENTEP) collection can be considered as response to challenges of increased cultural and linguistic diversity in classrooms. It represents a series of significant contributions by several European experts who are either official ENTEP members or who dedicate their expertise to ENTEP. The recommendations and elaborations on theory and practice within the chosen topic intend to stimulate, inspire and enrich  further  discussion and professional  discourse  among  policy makers, teachers  educators, researchers , teachers, student  teachers  and other stakeholders as well as the wider school community. It also promotes new teaching concepts and approaches with political strategic interventions, which will be needed for the current challenges in European member states.


In chapter I Ursula Uzerli (Germany), a former member and coordinator of ENTEP gives a comprehensive view of the intercultural approach as a precondition for mindful and effective teaching in migrant contexts. As classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse, it is of utmost importance to adequately prepare teachers, amongst others, in the context of intercultural awareness and competence. Therefore, an environment must be created in which teachers have the possibility to acquire the ability of being mindful and self-reflective and are also able to work against discrimination.  In addition, Robi Kroflič, lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana, introduces ‘artistic experiences’ which can be used as a new concept in schools for raising awareness and fostering the thought of value towards the other person. Sonja Rutar (Slovenia) investigates the “Pathway towards a  High-Quality  Teacher  Education  and  Educational  Process”, where she outlines  the  importance of the process of education as recognition of socio-cultural diversity, which includes meaningful literacy development, positive recognition of children and child participation.  Nada Turnšek (Slovenia) demonstrates “Approaches to Diversity, Equity and Social Inclusion in Slovenian Preschools” with the theoretical and practical applications, using Slovenian pre-schools as case studies.

In  chapter  II  Francesca Caena (Italy) in her contribution “European  Discourse  on  Multilingual,  Intercultural  Matters  vs  Policy  and  Practice  Regarding  Teachers   (with Italian Snapshots) states that the relevance of a European language teacher education has risen substantially over the past years, as this has been a major goal in European policy discourse, and teachers themselves have highlighted the need for support.  Klaus-Börge  Boeckmann’s  (Austria)  in his article  on  “European  Perspectives  on  Teacher  Education  in  Multilingual Contexts:  Initiatives  of  the  Council  of  Europe  and  the  European  Union” comments on the European strategy for teacher education in multilingual context and analyses special concepts, programmes as well as tools and resources for multicultural and multilingual classroom teaching.

Chapter III focuses on policy measures in different countries.

Chapter IV deals with mobility. Erasmus+ Course ‘International Teacher Competences’: a Successful Concept of Internationalization at the University College of Teacher Education Styria” by Heiko Vogland others (Austria) described  the  new  international  teacher’s  competences  Erasmus+  course, which is the first of its kind. The course aims to support effective teaching in multicultural settings. Daniela Elsner (Germany) discuss the professionalization of teachers in the context of diversity trough opportunities and obstacles of mobility in German teacher education programmes. Although international and multicultural competences are desirable, the number of students exchange in programmes is rather low – a missed opportunity to be a role model later in their career as teachers, where one of the main aims is to build these multilingual and cross-cultural competences.

Completing  the book  and  its  goal  to  gather  perspectives  and  experiences  on  teacher  education for teaching in multilingual and multicultural settings from different countries, Mojca Peček (Slovenia) summarizes common trends on how teacher education is organized and which are the greatest challenges for teacher education in different countries in her article “Preparing Teachers to Enhance Learning in Multilingual and Multicultural Settings. She draws conclusions and gives substantial recommendations on how to organize teacher education for teaching in multicultural and multilingual settings.

Part of the collection is available online.

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